notes on dutch literature

The Angel Maker

In Review on October 29, 2012 at 1:09 AM

A fews ago I read The Angel Maker by Belgium author Stefan Brijs. A complex novel flavored with magic realism, exploring a world of science, science pushed too far. Stefan Brijs deservedly won the Golden Owl from the Royal Academy for Dutch Language and Literature in 2006 with this novel.

Rumors of all sorts precede Dr. Victor Hoppe’s return to his childhood home in the Belgian hamlet of Wolfheim. But nothing could have prepared the villagers for the three identical infant sons who accompany him. Those who’ve managed to steal a look at the brothers have seen that the boys all boast their father’s carroty red hair—and his disfiguring cleft palate. The doctor does little to ingratiate himself with the townspeople until the chance rescue of a choking toddler and his ability to cure the local priest’s stomach ailment move the villagers to accept him as an upstanding member of the community. It isn’t until Victor hires Charlotte Maenhout, a retired schoolteacher, to care for the motherless boys that the truth about them—and the good doctor—slowly begins to emerge.

The Angel Maker is a gripping page-turner, a terrifying tale of one man’s mania and scientific hubris will linger in the imagination long after the book is finished. See reviews:

Los Angeles Times / The Independent / A Common Reader

The Angel Maker by Stefan Brijs

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